I woke up with my fist clenched and could sense the surge of adrenalin. The dream was still vivid. I’m driving through Tennessee. My car has stopped and 2 men in overalls are walking towards my side of the car. I knew they were bad guys. One was standing right beside the car. I reached out, grabbed his overalls and pulled him closer. I wanted to stab or punch him and then drag him along the side of the car when it started to move. But I realized I was in the backseat. I didn’t have a knife. So I started to punch him but it felt like I was just punching air. The car wasn’t moving and I kept yelling for the driver to get going while I held on to him.
That’s all I could remember before I woke up. I calmed myself down, got out of bed, picked up all my pillows from the floor and grabbed a shower. I let the warm water flow down on my body as I relaxed. One of these days, maybe I can figure out how my brain works.
I wrote a letter to mom after she passed. I guess it’s appropriate that I write one to you a year after you passed. I’ve more or less come to grips that you’re gone. And while I miss you, I know you are free from the pains of your illness and you’ve regained your sharp mind. It never ceased to amaze me how you knew so much about the ancient Roman and Greek history, wines and spirits, business, philosophy and languages such as Spanish and Latin. You loved public speaking and while you quietly encouraged me, I think my brother had more of your gift. Books – I swear you never met a book you didn’t like. Oh wait, you hated romance novels.
Did you remember teaching us how to collect stamps? We used to giggle at you when you tasted wine. Then you explained to us how to properly taste wine and why we should let red wine breath before drinking. I could recount so many more things. We learned to travel at a young age. We learned what hard work meant. Once we were a lot older, we understood how scary and what a huge sacrifice it was for you to start a new life in Canada. I remember watching how hard you worked looking for a job. And how much you tried to protect us from being worried. All this pain and humility just to make sure your kids had more opportunities than you did.
Are you having your usual tea with mom now? One of my fondest memories are the 2 of you sipping tea. Whether it was in the quiet nights while pondering how to squeeze more out of your modest salary or out in the porch on a bright summer day, enjoying the warm breeze. Little by little, mom taught you how to make tea. I hope our cats are with you too.
I wonder if you knew I’m gay. I knew you and mom always wanted grandkids but it just wasn’t meant to be. I hope maybe now you’ll understand.
To this day, I don’t know if you remember the last few months. I know you hated being a burden. And despite dementia and delirium, I could still see you behind those eyes. Just before your last breath, you opened your eyes and looked towards me. Maybe it was mom you saw. I whispered to you before to look for her. She waited so long for you.
p.s. By the way, I blogged about you a lot. I hope someone up there can explain to you what blogging is. Look for a guy named Steve Jobs.
Love your son,
J showed me this video over the weekend. There’s a fair bit of swearing but no nudity. I think I need to hang around straight guys more. Does anyone want to go to a spa?
Seriously though, do all guys feel this comfortable joking around? I’m not sure I could handle the cold water challenge. I mean shrinkage is an issue.
I really don’t know what to write sometimes. After breakfast, I wanted to write. It’s almost bedtime now and I’ve deleted about 5 draft entries. One was too depressing. One was too boring. Another one just had a lonely sentence. The other ones don’t even rate a description.
The darkness of winter is probably the thing I hate the most. It’s not the cold, the ice or the snow. I can adapt to those. By 4 in the afternoon, it is starting to be dark. I have 3 huge windows on my condo. But during the winter, even they can’t let in enough light. Some evenings, I turn on a few more lights and even light some candles to make my place feel brighter. You may find it odd that I don’t have Christmas decorations at my condo. I never had. For some reason, Christmas isn’t that magical thing anymore. Maybe I’ve grown too cynical. While I appreciate the gifts I get, it just feels too much like an obligation on everyone’s part.
I need some ideas on what to write. What questions or suggestions do you have?
On another note, I went to my eye doctor yesterday. He said my eye sight hasn’t deteriorated. I don’t need a new prescription. He did give me an optional prescription for distance in case I think I need it for driving. Despite his serious demeanour, he’s actually a nice guy and easy to talk to. He asked about my health since he knows what meds I’m on. He told me to watch my stress level. Too many of his patients have had health issues due to stress. He shook his head when I told him the hours I would work and the amount of sleep I usually get. But I also told him I’m trying to change that now.
Well, it took me the whole day to write 339 of this. If I really edited it, I could probably get it down to 250 words. But for now, I need a bit of quantity rather than quality.
The waiting room was somber. The faded plastic plants and the tired Christmas decorations made it worse. The TV was on a news channel with the volume off. I waited for the nurse to call my name. There were elderly couples scattered throughout the waiting room. One accompanying the other for his or her appointment. It must feel so vulnerable to be elderly and sick. Is it love or duty that binds them? A man in his late 60s slowly shuffled in with a walker. His companion goes to the front desk and gives the attendant a form for blood test, his health card and hospital card. The man looked so fragile and tired. He grabbed the first seat collapsed into it. I watched as he heaved several sighs of relief but even that is tiring to him. He eventually buries his head into his hands.
Fortunately a nurse called my name. While she set up the test, I make a few jokes and small talk. The test was over before I could even get comfortable. She asked if I knew where my next appointment was. I nodded. I’ve taken my dad there for a few of his appointments. I remembered how to get through the maze of corridors. One time, my dad got so tired walking in the hallways. Fortunately a nurse noticed him struggling and rushed to get a wheelchair for him.
When I got to the doctor’s office, he wasn’t there. But I bump into him in the corridor. I told him I was early for my appointment. He smiled and asked me to wait while he reviewed the results of my test. I waited in the small and outdated examination room. Outdated but functional. The doctor walked in with my file. We talked for a while and he said I have a very deep voice. I smiled but didn’t really know what to say. He also said I asked some good questions and wondered if I had a medical background. I told him I work in IT.
He answered all my questions calmly. He reassures me what I have isn’t life threatening. I’ll see him again within 3 or 4 months. The subsequent treatment I will undergo is considered low risk with a high probability of success. But there are no guarantees and there is the possibility of complications.
I’m being deliberately vague in this entry. Maybe I’ll write more about this in the future. We’ll see.